Decentralize and Repair Mass and Cass - Methadone Mile

Decentralize and Repair Mass and Cass - Methadone Mile

249 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
Representative Ayanna Pressley and

Why this petition matters

Reinstate Boston’s initiative to help Opiate Addicts and the mentally ill

Two days after Mayor Michelle Wu took office, she suspended Boston’s policy of helping those suffering in tent encampments in Boston’s Open Air Drug Market, commonly known as Mass & Cass.  Two weeks later, she announced an emergency policy of warehousing the people within 500 feet of the drug market while providing no incentive to change their downward spiral.  Likewise she announced no plan to stem the violence and human trafficking plaguing the area.  It took Major Wu less than 3 weeks to break two campaign promises: to decentralize the services, and not add more services into the area.

We call on Mayor Wu to resume the original policy and abandon the effort to warehouse people in the same dangerous area.

The policy Mayor Wu abandoned treated people with respect, not as criminals.   

  • Public health workers, not the police, took the lead.  
  • Public health workers proceeded at a gradual pace.  
  • Public health workers treated the vast majority of those living in the tent encampments as people in need of health services, not court appearances. 
  •  Public health workers respected property.  

The initiative was part of a long-term strategy to relieve the suffering by:

  • Reuniting people with their families
  • Getting people into long term treatment
  • Offering people low-barrier housing located away from the dangers of Mass & Cass.

For many years previous mayors took the easy decision of concentrating the people in a historic area with many people of color.  Since the closing of the Long Island treatment center, Boston has mismanaged the closure with a series of well-intentioned emergency decisions that had unintended consequences and made Mass and Cass the way it is today.  These decisions were necessitated by the city not being proactive.  In fact, the closure of the Long Island treatment center was a direct result of previous mayors’ neglect of a bridge that gradually fell into disrepair.  

These well-meaning emergency decisions led to the highly visible suffering of those in the tents.  They were often inspired by public health officials who took no responsibility for the consequences until their neglect caused the next emergency.  Those decisions allowed a lawless culture to develop, which led to human trafficking, increasing violence, and 6 murders in 2021 alone.  Those decisions forced Greater Boston Food Bank to spend $500,000 on security instead of food insecurity.  And perhaps worse of all, those decisions created a dangerous environment for the 3000 school-age children of color that have to navigate the drug culture when they are so impressionable.

We call on Mayor Wu to end this cycle.  Reinstate the prior well-planned policy of moving people away from the dangers of Mass & Cass and enforcing the laws to end the drug market and violence.   We further encourage her to measure its results and improve the previous policy as dictated by those results.


249 have signed. Let’s get to 500!